School starts tomorrow, and I’ll be finishing the last year of my Bachelors in Dietetics. So in the spirit of learning new things, and because Fiancé suggested going back to basics, I’m starting a Cooking 101 series! Sometimes the hardest part of being a beginner cook is knowing how to start. Recipes typically require at least some familiarity with the kitchen, so I hope to provide some assistance.
The basic cooking supplies you’ll need for almost any recipe consist of a saucepan, a pot, a skillet, a chef’s knife and a pairing knife. While there are obviously many more tools used in a kitchen, these are going to be the most recurring tools.
I prefer nonstick pots and pans since that is what I grew up using and they tend to have less issues with food sticking (thus the name). However, stainless steel is the other main option for pots and pans.
While many new cooks are intimidated by a chef’s knife, they do provide excellent control and are really the preferred tool for most kitchen tasks. A pairing knife is mostly used for small tasks like peeling fruit, slicing apples or stone fruit, and other small detailed work. There are a lot of other knives that come with a knife block, but I’d say save the money and just buy two good knives and keep them sharp!
Also included in the picture are two types of dishtowels. The colorful yellow towel is typically referred to as a tea towel. These are usually displayed in a kitchen and make great hostess gifts. They’re useful for recipes like bread that call for the dough to be covered, since they’re not very absorbent. The other towel is a flour sack towel which I love using as just a general hand towel in the kitchen. They’re extremely absorbent, dry quickly, and can be used for pretty much anything–drying hands, wringing out vegetables, wiping up spills, etc. Obviously you can use a wide variety of towels in the kitchen, but tea towels and flour sack towels are the go-to kitchen towels in my house.
There are a lot of other tools that can be helpful to have in a kitchen, but these are the basics you’ll need to get started.
What are your favorite kitchen tools? What advice would you give to a beginning cook? What else would be helpful in Cooking 101?